Phil Coke shut down with elbow tenderness
You could see the roll of the eyes from manager Jim Leyland on air when the question about Phil Coke came up. He had a pretty simple answer when asked about him, but that gesture said quite a bit on its own.
“Look, I’ll make this simple: Phil’s just not making good enough pitches to get big-league hitters out right now,” Leyland said. “I mean, he’s hanging his breaking ball, he’s throwing the ball in the middle of the plate. I mean, it’s as simple as that. And certainly nobody’s upset with him, but that’s the simple fact. I’ll answer it that way and we’ll move on to the next question.”
The next question on Coke might have been answered Thursday morning, when Leyland said he reported some elbow tenderness. The Tigers medical staff has shut him down for at least the next couple days to try to address it.
Coke said Thursday morning he has had soreness in his elbow off and on for most of the season, but Wednesday was the first time he felt something more specific. He had trouble finishing his pitches, and while he didn’t want to make it an excuse, he said it got into his head by the time he faced Michael Saunders, who doubled in a run off of him.
“It freaked me out,” Coke said of the feeling in his elbow.
Coke said earlier this week that he’s simplifying things, worrying more about results and less about mechanics. He felt good about the way he was pitching going into this, and he had some success in short, specific outings.
While he’s out, there’s a decent chance Jose Alvarez will get an opportunity or two against left-handed hitters.